The Great Debate: Conservation vs. Preservation

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Preservation and conservation – these two words strive toward the same purpose using different methods. However, to understand each methodology, people need to understand the definition of the words. Preservation means maintaining natural resources by not using them and preventing human interference as much as possible. Alternatively, conservation allows a controlled usage of natural resources while maintaining the sustainability of those resources for future generations. People frequently use the words interchangeably, and this causes misunderstandings to occur. The usage of both practices ultimately provides the best solution for Earth’s precious resources.

Conservation and preservation philosophies share a similar goal toward ecosystems. Both methods aim to protect natural resources for the betterment of the ecosystem. Conservationists and preservationists all agree that the current human wasteful usage threatens our natural resources. This wastefulness harms the ecosystems. Humans need to learn not to take natural resources and the environment for granted.

The difference between the two philosophies stems from how each one goes about fulfilling the goal of protecting the ecosystems. The philosophy of preservation seemingly places everything on an equal footing, but ends up putting humans below the needs of nature. Preservationists will go so far as to protect nature even at the detriment to the human race. The preservation of nature, without regard to human needs, may lead to societal disasters such as economic collapse, rising health issues, and overall chaos.

Natural regulation ties in with preservation. Some national parks use natural regulation to encourage the natural cycle of the forest’s ecosystem with minimal human interference. For example, since 1968, the Yellowstone National Park uses natural regulation to stimulate the ecosystem (Northern Range Controversy, 2002). Some people speculate over the efficacy of natural regulation on the...
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